One American and one German music lover who got heaps of other things to do team up to talk about concerts, bands, songs, and whatever else our crazy brains can come up with.

Make sure you also check out the German digest (posted whenever we manage):
Metal Mütter Mittleren Alters - auch auf Deutsch (wenn wir die Zeit dafür finden...)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Good things come in threes ... or sevens!

New year, new resolutions, new stuff to do - and, yay, new music!

In the last post, I mentioned going to a concert and soundcheck party. I hopped on a bus and drove all the way to Hamburg to do it, too. And I liked it so much that I bought another ticket for another show of the same band. Said show took place here in Berlin, and now it's high time I wrote something about the whole thing...

So, Royal Republic. Four guys from Sweden. How come I am suddenly addicted to their stuff?

Because they rock, because they're funny, full of energy and cheekiness,they put on a good show, and the music is kinda addictive.

The first time I saw them was at last year's Rock am Ring, which is a huge festival and somewhat exhausting. Especially due to their infamous "Ringwetter", which basically means cold, rainy and hazy in an ugly way. In fact, when Royal Republic did their gig on Sunday early afternoon, it was so hazy and misty that I could barely see the stage from afar. So I listened, got curious beacuse I liked the music, a few songs sounded a little familiar... and I watched most of the show on the big screens.

Hooray for a new musical discovery! I decided that I want to see them again some time when they'd come to Berlin. Then, some time in autumn, I happened to see their PledgeMusic project - an acoustic EP they wanted to realize because both they and their fans had always liked the little acoustic interludes at their rock shows.

I pledged, and chose the "soundcheck party"  from their "exclusives"... those are the things you can spend money on besides the actual CD. I figured if I was going to see them from up closer than at Rock am Ring, why not meet them in person. 

However, there was no Berlin gig on the tour, so I booked a ticket for Hamburg and went there on November 28. It was cold, but it was on the Reeperbahn, and the "Horny Christmas Market" (no joke!) was right across the street, so it was easy to get a mulled wine while waiting.

But before waiting came the afternoon soundcheck party, which really was great fun: about ten excited fans (I felt a little like a fraud because I hadn't followed them around since 2010) were ushered in, invited to pick a T-shirt from the merch stand, and then got a drink and, after a few minutes, settled in to watch the soundcheck. Which was like a soundcheck, which is not unfamiliar to this girl... Still, after a few awed minutes, everyone decided to walk right up to the stage and take a closer look. It's a cool feeling to lean on the railing and watch the musicians do their job, chatting about other concerts and bands and festivals all the while. Of course the rest of the fan group was half or maybe two thirds my age, but the thing had a nice community feel.

Next, a guy from the management told us to gather in a corner of the venue,and then the four Royal Republicans came to join us for group pictures, signing and a little chat. I think everyone present got what they'd hoped for, photos to show off, signatures on their favorite CDs or shirts, and a few words with their heroes, who proved accessible and genuinely nice.

After that, we had to leave the venue again and, as there were only few people ouside waiting for the start of the actual show, we got to stand right at the door, ready to make a run for the first row again (well, I wasn't as ready to run as the rest, if only because I carried my overnight bag around with me). All of the fan group really made it into the first row, and then the show started with a cool German punk support, the guys of Montreal. Fun lyrics and lots of attitude.

Then, finally, the actual concert, which was really, really cool. And really, really exhausting, because I didn't want to be involved in circle pits and pogo dancing. It was kind of hard to avoid all these, the central area of the venue was really like a vortex most of the time. Ah, it's good to be up front, where you can hold on to the railing when the seas are rough!

Here's a youtube video of the show (I am front center, but it's hard to spot me in all the mayhem):

I thoroughly enjoyed the show and was looking forward to the acoustic EP. The band sent several video updates via the PledgeMusic site, and the more I saw and heard, the more I thought I would like to see them play the acoustic set live, too. So I got myself another ticket, for Berlin this time, and went to see them again on January 20. I mean, check out the acoustic version of the first video above that they put up on youtube... what's not to love?

And I've got to say, even though the guys themselves were obviously seeing their acoustic set as an act and a beautiful joke and not like their true rockin' selves, this concert was even better than the ones before! More surprises, more variety, more playfulness and cheekiness, more cool Swedes... They brought three guest musicians, who added instruments such as a pedal steel guitar, an accordion and a banjo - which may indicate the direction several of their songs were taking... Hillbillyland, Country, Dixie, whatever you want to call it, but it was way cool. Four funny Swedes plus three serious guest musicians who looked a bit overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the audience (who, by the way, seemed to itch to do the usual circle-pitting and pogo-ing, but the dixie wouldn't really let them) - hence the title of this post.

You can still get your CD on PledgeMusic. Festival dates aren't published yet, and the acoustic tour is over for now. But makes sure to keep an eye on them - here's another cool video:

Now let's see what spring has in store musically - stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yes, yes, we are still alive... and so is Arthur Brown

People, Friends, Romans...

has it really been more than a year since either Lisa or I posted anything here? Wow.

Well, for one, the winter doesn't usually have lots of festivals, and then 2013 was pretty busy for both of us, as we both moved... I moved from the very South of Germany to the capital, Berlin. Lisa moved from the Southwest of the US to the beautiful Pacific Northwest (and I envy her a little, even though Berlin is awesome enough for now)...

And then, I just didn't go to that many shows which fit the bill of this blog this year... I went to the more mnainstreamy Rock am Ring with my daughter (and originally intended to write about that... but my brain forgot), I went to Mera Luna once again (and you've heard about that one before), I went to a few cool indoor shows here in Berlin (Lydia Lunch!!!, end of green - again, Macklemore (with said daughter again, most obviously nothing remotely close to metal... but it was fun anyway))... but somehow, there was always stuff to do, or I just postponed posting until time had passed and it semed pointless.

I kept thinking maybe I need to revamp the thing, shift the focus a little. I kept wanting to talk to Lisa about it. I kept doing other things and being lazy... and now 2013 is almost finished, and I still don't know what to do with this... I guess the two of us should come up with a Great Comeback Plan for 2014. That sounds like fun to me...

But, to give you at least a little bit of live music coverage, let me tell you briefly about my latest indoor show. Because WOW!!!!!!! That was an awesome little concert, full of energy, joy and laughter!

I read an article in one of Berlin's city mags, the TIP, about The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - remember that guy with the freaking fire helmet from waaaay back when? Yes, that's the guy. And the one hit goes: "I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE... AND I GIVE YOU... FIRE!!!..."

So I read a cool article about him, which ended with a contest. You could win tickets to his upcoming show. Well, I've won tickets before, so I participated - and won (Thank you, TIP!) ! Last Friday was the gig, and I asked a local friend if she wanted to check it out with me.

When we arrived at the venue, Roadrunner's Paradise (rad place, btw), we thought it might be a sad affair, cause there were only about 50 people in the place, making it look kind of empty, but it filled up before he came on stage. I would estimate to 200 or 250 people. I'm bad at estimates, but those present sure were an enthusiastic crowd. Lots of at least middle-aged guys, a few younger ones, but I certainly didn't feel old in this crowd (like, say, when I went with my daughter to Macklemore...)

And then the man himself appeared, in a black cloak and a helmet topped with a rubber mohawk. I wondered whether that rubber hair would later burn, but had read that the old fire show can hardly be done anymore - fire prevention regulations. The band Mr Brown had with him consisted of a pretty, young female guitar player, a cute, young, rockin' drummer, a long-haired, not-quite-so-young bass player and an awesome, young, never-to-lose-her-cool keyboard player.

All of them rocked, all of them visibly enjoyed sharing the stage with the old guy - but after all, this Arthur Brown could really show some others how to go all-out! Quickly shedding his cloak and helmet, he stood clad in loose and flowy black, red and pink garments, his face and the bald center part of his head painted, and then he sang, and he danced, and he shuffled, and he hopped and jumped, and he invited his band members to do their solos (the sweet guitar player first seemed a little terrified or at least confused by that prospect, but there was no need for reluctance, for she was just as good at it as the rest of them), he teased the keyboard player (interfering with her playing with his own hands somewhere on tghe keys, taking away her instrument and generally creeping up on her every chance he got - but she was his match, acting shocked and freaky, obviously revelling in the shenanigans with him), he howled and he growled, whispered and wailed - seriously, lots of people half his age could learn a lesson from Mr Brown!

He sang his own stuff, old and new (brand-new record coming up, financed by PledgeMusic), and he did a few great cover songs as well - like "Don't let me be misunderstood" from the Animals, for example. Lots of cosmic love, fire, joy and sex in the lyrics. Oh and that voice? Sometimes it can be soft and a little scratchy, then again, he sounds like David Bowie, and then he screams and shouts. Impressive range, and impressive clarity and volume, given that he's over seventy. Well, everything's impressive given that he's over seventy.

The musical style also had all kinds of things thrown in besides good old rock - elements of Reggae, Psychedelic stuff, even almost Exotica. What can I say, I think it was simply awesome.

And not to forget, there was a dancer who joined the band on stage for several songs, in various costumes, from Flamenco to belly dancer to a sort of fire goddess for his most famous song - the golden wings were a clever fiery-looking substitute for the old fire helmet...    

If ever anyone were to make a movie of his life, please cast Bill Nighy as Arthur Brown, he's the only one who could pull that off! And he does have some silimarity with him... Here's proof:


 And one more thing... I mentioned PledgeMusic... I recently pledged for a band project myself... and will go see that band in concert soon - including a pre-concert "soundcheck party"... so stay tuned, I promise I'm going to write a post on that! And not in a year (more like, in two weeks)... surprise surprise...


Monday, October 1, 2012

And.... The Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival 2012

Gee, aren't you lucky? You get two posts from me this week! I've been a busy girl! LOL

After driving back from Colorado on Saturday, I got a quiet night to rest before going to the Uproar Festival yesterday with my sister. She's always fun to go to metal concerts with! We get lots of goodies thrown to us! YAY!

This year's headliners were: Adelita's Way, Staind, Godsmack and Shinedown. I have been waiting a long time to see Shinedown live. And it was very much worth it! They put on a flawless show.

Ah but first up was Adelita's Way. Group I had not heard yet nor seen.

They put on a good show for the opening for the headliners. I thought they were good actually, but for me, I probably wouldn't own their album as I don't think it would be the type of music I'd listen to all the time. I hadn't heard of them before the show, and had taken no time to check them out either beforehand.

The singer did a good job of interacting with the crowd, and getting us fired up for the following acts. And he did jump out over the crowd when he came off the stage to surf us, right over me! I know I wasn't prepared for it! Thank you guys for a great show though!

Next up was Staind. I didn't realize or probably never paid attention to the fact that I knew several of their songs. Impressed. Very good live. Good beats, progressions and rhythm live. Enjoyed them immensely, especially with the piece It's Been Awhile.

They don't jump around on stage a whole lot, well except for the guitarist in the first picture, he's pretty active so it was hard to get a good shot of him. But the music kept you going. Thanks guys! Enjoyed the show!

And then came time for Godsmack. They dropped a huge curtain over the stage while they set up, different than the last two shows I'd been to for them. Of course, if you've read my posts in past, you know I am very, very much a Godsmack fan. and for this show, it was great to be up center stage in front. As always, they put on a consistently awesome show.

And they always do their awesome drum faceoff between Shannon and Sully. And I got lucky this time, got one of Sully's drumsticks this time after the faceoff. Made my night! They are consistently an amazing show, and I'll say it again, see them live any chance you get.

Now the closing show of the night, Shinedown!  I truly have waited for them to come to a venue that I could go see them at for about 3 years now. And I was not disappointed. Awesome act and show! Brent is a tremendous performer, and his voice is strong and true.

I have pretty much loved every piece they have put out to date, and was not disappointed at all in the live versions.

They did an excellent mix of all their hits from past albums and new from their latest album, Amaryllis. If you have the time, check out their video of Bully and Unity on YouTube. They did both at this show, and one of my favorite pieces, Second Chance.

They have also done a very, very good cover of Lynyrd Skynryd's hit Simple Man. And they did it acoustically, with Brent and the guitarist going out to a second stage in the middle of the crowd, then coming back onto the main stage to finish it up.

Yup, another excellent night. Thank you Rockstar Energy Drinks for putting together another amazing lineup for us! I am looking forward to seeing what you provide us with next year!


Denver and Kamelot Nightwish show

Well, I seem to be remiss in posting much these days. Seems regular life is keeping me distracted! However, this past weekend was a very busy traveling weekend for two shows, so I'll do two separate posts. So many good things happening.

Headed to Denver, Colorado on Thursday the 27th with my dear friend and brother to catch the Kamelot and Nightwish show at the Ogden Theater on Colfax. I always love going to see Nightwish, they always put on a fun and excellent show, and I have been wanting to see Kamelot live for a long time now. Perfect pair for an excellent show!
Kamelot opened the show. I absolutely loved the backdrop and will be very excited for their new Album, Silverthorn to be released at the end of October. I was also excited to be hearing how their new singer, Tommy Karevik, did with them. As I did love Roy Khan's voice.
I need not have worried, he's fabulous! I loved his vocals and believe me, he fits right in with this group and their sound. He sang some of their classics flawlessly.
As anyone who listens to Kamelot knows, this band is amazing, they put out incredible music, like nobody else's, music that keeps you craving more. I think I have too many favorites to think of just one, but I love the  beat and progressions of March of Mephisto probably best live. They put on a good show, and the crowd loved them. They did play a piece from the upcoming album, Silverthorn, and if this album is as excellent as the song they did live, I am going to be extremely content with it. And yes, if you're wondering, They are definitely worth seeing live. This is another group I will always go see live if I can. Simply Awesome!

Nightwish came on a little late. Just before their scheduled time, Tuomas and Troy came out with an announcement. Seems that Anette had come down very ill and had to be transported to the hospital. They gave the crowd two choices, we could let management do what they wanted which was to cancel the show, or go on with Alyssa and Elise from Kamelot volunteering to fill in and the crowd helping karaoke style. Of course we voted for the show to go on! And it turned out amazing.
The wonderful ladies from Kamelot, sang their hearts out, even with the lyrics printed for them, they interacted with the crowd, and had fun. The crowd loved them for it and cheered thunderously! Of course for Nemo, everyone knows the words, and Elise knew them and knocked it out of the park! And to see her cut loose and dance a jig while Troy played his pipes was fabulous!
Nightwish played several classics, like Nemo, I Wish I Had an Angel, Amaranth, and The Islander. They also played several from the newest album, Imaginaerum.
Of course they always have fun on stage, and that night was no exception. I was thrilled to see Troy Donockly with them, I do love his pipe playing! Despite missing Anette, it was a fun show, well done as always, and the crowd was amazing.

Thank you Kamelot and Nightwish for another magical evening!
Then the morning after, my friend Rebecca and I took the 6 hour drive home so I could catch the Uproar Festival yesterday. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Home (wherever I may roam)

Dunno why it took me so long to get an English post together, cause I already wrote up my confused and scattered thoughts into the semblance of logic a week ago - in German. I guess there are many more thoughts, unrelated, annoying ones (such as job hunting, money worries, loneliness), and they sometimes interfere with concentrating on what you really want to do. Like writing the next novel. And writing blog posts. And enjoying life.
So yes, I wanted to write something about H O M E, having returned home after quite a bit of travelling and attending festivals and visiting friends - now already two weeks ago again. Led me to the question where or what home really is. In German, there are two different terms for "at home", used regionally, and so my original home town quickly became "zuhause", while the town I studied, did my Ph.D. and had my kids in became "daheim". Both sorta home. But the feeling of being at home could hit me elsewhere just as hard, just as soft, cozy and lovely: Like during my exchange year in Portland, Oregon, when the bus driver, the corner bum and the diner waitress recognized me, greeted me personally, cause I had passed them more than once or twice. Or at the Haunt, a bookstore/coffeeshop/hangout for nerds and ghosthunters, right around the corner of my student appartment in Mo'ili'ili, Oahu, Hawai'i, where I spent most of the afternoons in my research semester. 
And, in case you wonder where this type of talk leads to in a blog supposed to deal with the big M's - MUSIC, METAL, MADNESS - I found or made my home time and again in music. I can carry this home around with me, more easily than ever in times of smartphones and tiny USB sticks. My first little tree house was built out of The Cure,'s "The Walk", Depeche Mode's "Black Celebration", "Being Boiled" by The Human League and "Push" by The Invincible Spirit (and a few more of their ilk). Then came Die Ärzte, Die Toten Hosen, Punk and Transvision Vamp. Wave, Gothic, Rock, Metal - and some escape trips to stranger, softer shores, but these are home too, time and again. Just like Hawai'i may be looking exotic and unlikely on my floor plan, I feel weirdly at ease in Exotica music, it's like the balcony, the sun deck, the front porch to my house made of rock and metal, to the black basement.
Pretty, huh? And where do I want to go with this wordy construct, this conceit, as the British called a complex, baroque heap of metaphors? (To me, the picture in my head is pretty baroque. Maybe the sounds and colors come across to you a bit more subdued - everyone has their own house)...
It's really simple: I have been spending more time on the road than at home for a few short weeks, inbetween downpours and Frankfurt's skyline, a traditional children's folk fair and mudaggeddon Wacken, between ships and waterways and pubs in Hamburg, and among my beloved "herd" in Hildesheim... Almost like Luise, the heroine of my Sex, Zeitreisen und Rock'n'Roll novel. The only thing missing was a band like Lumiukko - but you get your groupie kicks where you can (O.o)
And while I wouldn't want to live permanently in a tiny igloo tent or my Japanese compact car, nor subsist on canned beer and festival fare for long - I have felt so wonderfully, utterly HOME so often in those few weeks! So much so that I could muster no ounce of happiness at being back in town, when Lake Constance finally came into view again. Sure, I was looking forward to a soft bed, to the washing machine and my own shower, my own computer, and very very much to be back with my daughters. No doubt.
But whether it was among my fellow start-up writers at a literature festival in Frankfurt, as lone ranger on the vast Wacken grounds (Waterworld, anyone?), exploring Hamburg's waterways and bridges and the view from St. Peter, or in a chance encounter that proved to be just another lesson in finding your home in yourself, or last but definitely not least in our amazing camp at this year's M'era Luna in Hildesheim - everywhere I was HOME, feeling grounded and simultaneously afloat, cresting the waves, fully awake through the nights, and through the long hazy days, and I felt so at ease, so comfy that I wanted to stop time for a bit, or, like the Hawaiian demigod Maui, to capture the sun and force him to move more slowly, so there was more time to savor...

Those days are still shimmering, still simmering inside me, forcing me to look at myself, making me remember and cherish more carefree times, showing me where I stand, where I come from, what's still possible, where the road could be leading, what I want, what I am still searching for... My plans, the job hunt, moving away, my self-image as a fiction writer - everything is afloat, on the road, the house is still being built, still under construction.
This year's M'era Luna didn't have such an amzing lineup as the last ones I attended. Placebo was beautiful, their music and Molko's voice painting their own pictures in my head, and a few acts such as Eisbrecher provided entertainment, yes, but old crones/pros like New Model Army left a weak impression, as if they were sailing at half mast (let alone the fact that they aren't very "goth" in the first place). But the music in our camp, where we spent more time than in front of the stage anyway, provided the perfect soundtrack for a sunny, silly, relaxed, homey weekend - no wonder that a few of us are already contemplating where to pitch our next camp: Who needs a festival in the neighborhood, when the company is right?
One more thing. This home made of music just keeps on growing. Sometimes the extensions and annexes are surprising and don't seem to fit at all, but they settle into their rightful place in time. I keep listening to a little CD I got in Hamburg. It was a gift from a very handsome Irishman (think Hugh Jackman, just more slender than Wolverine). Normally I shun Reggae like the plague; I have decided that I find it annoyingly boring (kind of like the opposite of Techno, which I find extremely annoyingly pushy in its bpm and its endless repetition). However, when it is proffered from such a source, why not make an exception, give it a chance. And lo, those four little songs strike a chord, they got somethin'. Just one more example for my claim that home is made of music - and of all the associations and memories and impressions that we connect with it. And with that I leave you - to the images and tunes in your own heads...

...and the real photographic pictures of my trips are linked, as usually, on Facebook.    
Let's wrap it up with Shakespeare... If music be the food of love, play on...


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Von der Schwierigkeit, das Besondere in Worte zu fassen...

(kopiert von meiner Webseite:

Montagabend bin ich zurück nach Hause gekommen. Obwohl, wo ist schon zu Hause? Als ich angefangen habe, im tiefen Süden Deutschlands zu studieren, war das noch leicht zu unterscheiden: Zu Hause war Jülich im Rheinland, die Kleinstadt in der ich aufgewachsen bin, und die mich geprägt hat. Daheim dagegen wurde relativ schnell Konstanz, mein Studienort, der Geburtsort zweier Kinder, mein Wohnort für viele Jahre. Aber das Zuhausefühlen hat sich auch immer wieder anderswo eingestellt: In meinem Austauschjahr in Portland, Oregon, als der Busfahrer, der Landstreicher an der Ecke und die Wirtin im Diner die Straße runter mich persönlich begrüßt haben, weil ich öfter als zwei, drei Mal da gewesen war. Oder im Haunt, einem Buchladen/Cafe/Unterschlupf für Nerds und Geisterbeschwörer, gleich um die Ecke des Studentenwohnheims in Mo'ili'ili, Oahu, Hawai'i, wo ich die meisten Nachmittage meines Forschungssemesters verbracht habe. 
Und in der Musik, immer wieder in der Musik. Eine Heimat, die ich in Zeiten von Smartphones noch leichter mit mir herumtragen kann als immer schon zuvor. Die erste Heimat setzte sich aus "The Walk" von The Cure, "Black Celebration" von Depeche Mode, "Being Boiled" von The Human League und "Push" von The Invincible Spirit zusammen. Dazu kamen die Ärzte, die Toten Hosen, Punk und Transvision Vamp. Wave, Gothic, Rock, Metal - und auch Ausflüge in fremde, weichere Gefilde, aber das ist das Heimatland, immer noch und immer wieder. So wie Hawai'i dabei exotisch fremd scheinen mag, so fühle ich mich auch in der Exotica-Musik seltsam heimisch, sie ist wie der Balkon, der Wintergarten, die Sonneterrasse zu meinem Haus aus Fels und Metall, zum Fundament des dunklen Kellers.
Schön, gell? Und wo will ich mit diesem Konstrukt hin, diesem conceit, wie die Engländer ein komplexes, barockes Metapherngebilde nennen würden? (Für mich ist das Bild in meinem Kopf dazu ziemlich barock, mag sein, dass die Klänge und Farben etwas abeschwächt rüberkommen, jeder hat schließlich sein eigenes Haus)...
Ganz einfach, ich war in den letzten Wochen mehr on the road als daheim, unterwegs zwischen Regengüssen und Frankfurter Skyline, zwischen Allgäuer Kinderfest und Matschhölle Wacken, zwischen Schiffen und Kirchtürmen in Hamburg und geliebter Herde in Hildesheim... Fast schon wie meine Heldin Luise aus Sex, Zeitreisen und Rock'n'Roll, was?! Nur eine Band wie Lumiukko hat gefehlt - aber man holt sich seine Groupie Kicks wo man sie kriegen kann (O.o)
Und auch wenn ich sicher nicht dauerhaft in Igluzelt und Kleinwagen wohnen möchte, von Dosenbier und Dresdner Handbrot leben möchte - ich habe mich in den letzten Wochen so oft so wunderbar zu Hause gefühlt, dass ich mich am Montagabend, als der Bodensee in Sicht kam, kein bisschen gefreut habe, wieder daheim zu sein. Ich habe mich auf ein weiches Bett gefreut, aufs Wäsche waschen und unter der eigenen Dusche stehen, auf meinen eigenen Computer, und sehr sehr sehr auf meine Töchter, ja.
Aber ob unter Autorenkolleginnen in Frankfurt, als Einzelkämpferin auf Wackenspaziergang (Waterworld, anyone?), auf Entdeckertour auf der Elbe, dem Jungfernsteig und dem Turm der Petrikirche, bei überraschenden Begegnungen, die nur eine weitere Lektion im Zuhausesein bei sich selbst waren, oder zuletzt in unserem Wahnsinnscamp beim M'era Luna in Hildesheim - überall war ich zu Hause, geerdet und trotzdem auf Überflug, die Nacht war Tag und die Tage waren verhangen, und ich habe mich so wohl gefühlt, dass ich die Zeit gern angehalten hätte, oder wie einst der Halbgott Maui in der Hawaiianischen Mythologie die Sonne dazu gezwungen, langsamer zu wandern, damit mehr Zeit bleibt...
Die vergangenen Wochen brodeln noch in mir, haben mir den Spiegel vorgehalten, mich an unbeschwertere Zeiten erinnert, gemahnt, mir gezeigt wo ich stehe, wo ich herkomme, was noch geht, wo es hin gehen kann, was ich will, was ich suche... Die Umzugspläne, die Arbeitssuche, das Selbstverständnis als Schriftstellerin - alles im Fluss, on the road, das Haus immer noch im Bau.
Musikalisch gesehen war das diesjährige M'era Luna lange nicht so gut wie seine Vorgänger. Placebo war schön, ein paar Acts wie Eisbrecher boten gute Unterhaltung, aber alte Hasen wie New Model Army kamen schwach und wie mit angezogener Handbremse rüber (abgesehen davon dass sie wenig "gothic" sind). Aber die Musik in unserem Camp, in dem wir sowieso mehr Zeit als vor der Bühne verbracht haben, hat den perfekten Soundtrack zu einem sonnigen, albernen, entspannten, heimeligen Wochende geliefert - kein Wunder, dass einige von uns schon überlegen, wo wir unser nächstes Camp aufschlagen: Wer braucht schon ein Festival nebenan?
Und noch was. Das Zuhause der Musik wächst immer weiter, manchmal bekommt es unerwartete Anbauten, die so gar nicht zu passen scheinen, sich aber ihren Platz suchen. Gerade höre ich zum x-ten Mal eine kleine CD mit 4 Tracks, die ich in Hamburg von einem sehr hübschen Iren geschenkt bekommen habe. Man stelle sich Hugh Jackman vor, um einiges schmaler allerdings als Wolverine.  Normalerweise meide ich Reggae wie das Weihwasser oder die Pest. Aber wenn er aus solcher Quelle fließt, kann man ja mal eine Ausnahme machen. Siehe da, auf einmal hat das was...
Nur ein weiteres Beispiel dafür, dass Heimat aus Musik besteht, und all den Assoziationen und Erinnerungen, die wir damit verbinden. Und damit verweise ich Euch heute auf die Bilder in Eurem eigenen Kopf, und meine Bilder von unterwegs folgen später... (auf Facebook habe ich allerdings ein paar Alben verlinkt)   
Schließen wir mit Shakespeare... If music be the food of love, play on... 


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wacken: Rain or shine (deutsch)

Rain or shine, das ist das Motto von Wacken (neben faster, harder, louder), und zumindest vom Regen haben wir in diesem Jahr wirklich üppig eingeschenkt bekommen. Aber lassen wir mal Matschteiche und Weltuntergang beiseite... Wie ist es, als Autorin beim größten Metal-Festival der Welt dabei zu sein? Saugut, sag ich nur, richtig klasse!
Was kann mehr neue Inspiration bieten als dieser riesige Haufen unterschiedlichster Menschen, der sich in Liegestühlen vor der Kinoleinwand sonnt, durch stiefelhohen Matsch über den Platz kämpft, zur Feuerwehrkapelle von Wacken genauso enthusiastisch abrockt wie zu Saxon, Napalm Death, Machine Head und den Scorpions? (Die müssen übrigens den Zorn von Thor persönlich hervorgerufen haben, so wie bei ihrem Auftritt am Samstagabend der Himmel nochmal seine Schleusen öffnete, die Blitze zuckten, und die Windböen an den Absperrungen rüttelten!!!) Dann sind da noch die Stampfer, Headbanger und Moscher vor der Bühne, die Crowdsurfer obendrüber, unermüdlich, manchmal der gleiche Kerl sechsmal während eines Konzerts - wie kommt der immer wieder nach hinten, um sich dann wieder nach vorne in den Graben spülen zu lassen??? Es gibt Umarmer, die sich vorher in der Matschkuhle gewälzt haben, und nur mit der Gabe eines Bieres von ihrer Tätigkeit abhalten lassen. Es gibt Leute, die den altbekannten Schnee-Engel kurzerhand in einen matsch-Engel umwandeln, es gibt kreative Fußgewänder aus Müllsäcken, Einkaufstüten, oder Schuheinlagen aus Gefrierbeuteln. Es gibt musikalische Entdeckungen, Spaßbands ohne Gnade, großartige Acts, die durch ihr Wacken-Sonderprogramm noch einen draufsetzen. Dimmu Borgir mit Symphonieorchester, Sepultura mit Riesen-Percussiongruppe hintendran, meine persönlichen Favoriten Volbeat mit Gastmusikern ihrer Lieblingsbands, die den Sound so richtig schön abrunden. Es gibt neue Bands, die zum ersten Mal in Wacken sind und Releaseparty feiern, wie meine Freunde von Volksmetal, zu deren Gig ich wenigstens einmal extra im Dirndl aufgeschlagen bin. Es gibt Überraschungen bei Bands, die man schon kennt: Oomph! nicht in schwarz sondern im blütenweißen Seemannslook? Die Songs über Seemannsrosen sind nicht ganz so blütenweiß, aber die Show hat die erwartete Energie und Spielfreude. Es gibt Unterhaltungen, irgendwo, irgendwann auf dem Platz: Der Rockfan der ersten Stunde, der wie Mitte 50 aussieht, 68 ist, und seinen Zeitungsausschitt übers Feiern mit den Stones vor 50 Jahren im Portemonnaie hat. Die Gruppe Jungs im Armeezelt mit Feldbetten, die großzügig ihr Bier und ihre Geschichten teilen, und sogar ihre Lederjacken, als es kalt wird, in der Wackennacht. Das Ehepaar aus der Gegend beim Kaffeestand, und er möchte langsam nach Hause, aber sie möchte sich weiter über den Bodensee austauschen, denn sie war erst kurz zuvor dort, auf Pilgerreise mit dem Fahrrad in drei Wochen vom hohen Norden bis zur Insel Reichenau! Und dann Metal, die perfekte Balance!
Es gibt nette Begegnungen im Kleintierzirkus des Metal Markt Zeltes, wo auch ich am Samstagnachmittag mit meiner Lesung aus Sex, Zeitreisen und Rock'n'Roll dran bin: Die Incredible Blood Brothers, zwei Briten die sich Nägel in die Nasenlöcher hämmern, Rasierklingen schlucken und wieder auskotzen, und Ziegelsteine auf den Bäuchen zertrümmern. Und mir später auch ein paar schicke Müllsack-Stiefelüberziehen zurecht basteln. Danke, Blood Brothers. Oder Simon Bamford, den Schauspieler aus Hellraiser, der Autogramme auf Hochglanz Film Stills schreibt, und einem Fan seinen Backstage Pass schenkt, damit der auch eine Runde hinter die Kulissen schauen kann. 
Es gibt den Bereich hinter den Kulissen, wo das Pressezelt steht, Tim Mälzer für das Catering verantwortlich zeichnet, eine große überdachte Bar zum Anlaufpunkt im Regen wird. Am nächsten Tisch stehen die Schotten von Saor Patrol und amüsieren sich, drüben wird ein Mann mit gaaaaanz langen Haaren als Sänger von Atrocity identifiziert, während ein Pfälzer Witze über den ausgeschenkten Rum-Cola macht: Wenn die Cola alle ist, einmal vom Boden schöpfen, sieht genauso aus... Und im Pressezelt geben die Scorpions ein vollbesetztes Interview. Fast alle Publikumsfragen kommen vom Familienbetrieb "Der Schleswiger", nach eigener Aussage die größte deutschsprachige tageszeitung in Dänemark: "Meine Mutti will wissen, wie ihr euch in eurem Alter immer noch so knackig haltet"...
Zurück im Metal Markt Zelt: Es gibt den Bondage-Künstler, der süffisant meint, er hätte auch mehr als seine zwei willigen Gespielinnen mitbringen können, aber das wäre ihm zu anstrengend geworden. Darüber lachen die als Securitys entspannt aushelfenden Motorrad-Rocker, die so gar nicht dem Medienimage der bösen Jungs gleichen. Hey, die kochen mir morgens sogar Tee! Dann gibt es noch den Haufen Händler, die zumeist seltene CDs und Schallplatten verkaufen, aber auch Bongs, T-Shirts, Aufnäher und allen möglichen anderen Kram. Einige von uns verbringen die letzte, nasse Nacht im sicheren Zelt, schlafen wenig, warten auf den Morgen, und hoffen, dass sie mit ihren Sprintern und Transportern aus der knietiefen Matsche wieder rauskommen werden. Einige werden am diesigen Sonntagmorgen die Hilfe von Traktoren mit Reifen in der Größe von Braunkohlebaggern benötigen, mein Kleinwagen wird mir dankbarerweise von einem Holländer bis zur Asphaltstraße gebracht. Nach vier Tagen in vorderster Reihe (aua, meine Füße!) und mittendrin bin ich beim Rausfahren auf einmal ein Mädchen, das Hilfe braucht. Und ganz melancholisch wird, als es raus aus dem Dorf ist, auf der Autobahn Richtung Hamburg: Von jeder Autobahnbrücke hängen riesige Banner, auf denen steht: Goodbye Metalheads - Drive carefully. Und auf den Brücken stehen Leute und winken und heben ihre Hand zur "Pommesgabel": \m/
Kein Witz, da schwimmen mir die Augen. Vor Rührung, Erschöpfung, Freude, und vielleicht auch bereits Vorfreude - denn da will ich wieder hin!   
Ach so - meine eigene Lesung? Etwa 15 Leute waren da, und die meisten haben sicher eher Schutz vor dem Regen gesucht, als extra zu mir gepilgert zu sein. Aber es war eine tolle Erfahrung, in diesem Umfeld, auf der Bühne mit Mikro zu sitzen, und mich zumindest nicht völlig zum Affen zu machen, sondern ganz einfach meinen winzigen Beitrag zu einem wahnsinnigen, aus allen Nähten platzenden Programm für die ganze Metalgemeinde und für jede Nische zu leisten. Meine Nische war klein, aber der Spaß den ich hatte, der Erfahrungsschatz und die Inspiration, die ich mitnehmen konnte, sind riesengroß! Und ein Volbeat-T-Shirt hab ich ebenfalls mitgebracht.    
Alle Bilder findet ihr auf Facebook: Teil 1 und Teil 2 ...und hier folgt auch noch eine Galerie, aber dazu muss ich wieder am heimischen Rechner sitzen, also erst nächste Woche... Zuerst geht es weiter zum M'era Luna nach Hildesheim. Bis bald, und immer schön